(Business in Cameroon) - The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded December 17 in Washigton, USA, annual talks with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac) that includes Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.
Talk outcomes showed that in the mid-term, the sub-region’s economic and financial context will improve gradually. “Reforms to improve the business environment and governance, as well as strengthen the financial sector, added to a loosening of the curb in fiscal adjustment and the repayment of government arrears, would contribute to the gradual recovery of non-oil growth to 4.5% by 2021,” IMF said. This outlook is on the rise given that the body forecasts Cemac’s non-oil growth to drop to 1.0% this year against 2.6% in 2017.
Moreover, the overall budget balance (grants excluded) would be close to balance as of 2019, driven by a further reduction in non-oil primary deficit. IMF sees public debt to significantly decline from nearly 50% of GDP at the end of 2018 to less than 44% of GDP by the end of 2020. Also, a further decline in the current account deficit to around 1.5% of GDP in 2018-20 (from 4% of GDP in 2017) would contribute to a gradual accumulation of reserves, with reserve coverage reaching almost four months of imports by 2020.
Yet, IMF points out, the prospects are based on the full implementation by CEMAC member countries and regional institutions of their economic policy and reform commitments to restore the region's external stability.